The Texans and the pass rusher failed to come to an agreement on a multiyear pact prior to Monday's 4 p.m. ET deadline. As such, sides cannot negotiate a long-term deal until after the season.
Houston used the $15.967 million franchise tag on the outside linebacker to keep him around for the 2019 campaign. Utilizing the tag on Clowney again next year would come with a 120-percent raise.
The 26-year-old Clowney sat out the Texans' offseason workouts. He has yet to sign the franchise tender meaning he cannot be fined if he skips training camp practices, which begin July 24 for Houston veterans. Rapoport reported Monday that Clowney is therefore not expected to show up for most or all of training camp but will play on the the one-year tag come September.
In this particular case, it comes as no surprise that sides couldn't agree on a long-term solution. Reports out of Houston suggested negotiations had been stagnant and silent for weeks. Disagreement on whether or not to ink Clowney long-term was one reported reason for the Texans ultimately firing former general manager Brian Gaine. Working currently without a GM suggested a deal with Clowney wasn't in the cards before the deadline.
The Texans were likely apprehensive about handing a truck of guaranteed money to Clowney given his injury history, missing 16 regular-season games his first two years in the league. It's possible that coach Bill O'Brien would prefer to see Clowney remain healthy another season before trying harder to get a long-term deal in 2020.
From Clowney's perspective, he likely wants long-term security commensurate with other edge rushers of his ilk. In his first five seasons, the former No. 1 overall pick earned three Pro Bowl bids along with one first-team All-Pro selection (2016). In 62 games, he's generated 29 sacks and 67 QB hits.
Clowney playing the 2019 campaign on the franchise tag will be an underlying subplot for a playoff-caliber team. The Texans hope the motivation heading into another contract year will bring out the best in their former No. 1 overall pick.